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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

By John Monk, The State (Columbia, S.C.) (TNS)

COLUMBIA, South Carolina — An alleged manifesto of sorts purportedly belonging to accused Charleston killer Dylann Storm Roof surfaced Saturday on the Internet.

The manifesto is laden with racially inflammatory language.

Whether he wrote or posted the text himself is unverified as yet.

But there are fresh photographs that appear to be Roof.

The writer also describes why Charleston was chosen for the attacks.

“I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”

In nearly all the photographs where his face is visible, Roof is serious and unsmiling.

In one photograph, he is sitting on a stool in a garden, surrounded by flowers, holding a Confederate flag in one hand and a .45 caliber handgun in the other.

Another photo is a closeup of a .45 caliber pistol and brass-colored bullets. The gun is similar to the one said to have been used in the executions of the nine black-American church members in Charleston last week.

In another photo, Roof is shown in a beach scene with the numbers “1488” written in the sand. In that photo, the “1” is partially obscured by a wave. In another photo, however, the numbers “1488” are visibly written in the sand above the wave line.

According to the Anti-Defamation League and other sources, the number “14” is a reference to what white supremacists call “the 14 words.” Those words are, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” — words attributed to George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party.

The number “88” is shorthand for Heil Hitler — H being the eighth letter of the alphabet, according to the Anti-Defamation League and others.

In what appears to be a chilling 2,000-plus word manifesto, Roof tells why he believes blacks are inferior to whites, how they were happy when they lived under slavery and how whites need to take the country back. Blacks are “the biggest problem of America,” he writes.

Roof also targets Jews and Latinos, writing of Latinos that even though many are white, “They are still our enemies.” Of Jews, Roof writes, they are responsible for “agitation of the black race.”

As for patriotism, Roof writes, “I hate the sight of the American flag.”

Roof began to think about racial matters, he writes, after hearing about the 2012 incident in which George Zimmerman, a mixed-race Latino man, shot and killed a black youth, Trayvon Martin, at a gated community in Florida. Zimmerman was tried and found not guilty of second-degree murder.

After researching crimes that blacks commit against whites, Roof writes, he came to the conclusion that he had to go to Charleston.

Roof said he didn’t want “to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight.”

Consequently, as the world now knows, he shot black men, women and at least one child during a prayer group gathering at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

Some of the photos on the website, such as one of him pointing a handgun at the camera, Roof could have taken himself. Others, such as him kneeling on a beach, might have been taken by someone else currently unknown.

One image shows him at what appears to be a Lowcountry plantation. He is standing next to what could be educational African-American mannequins dressed in Colonial period costumes.

In another photo, a shirtless young man who is apparently Roof (his face is not part of the photo) stands on top of a rumpled American flag lying on a bedroom floor.

(c)2015 The State (Columbia, S.C.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.